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Why I’m Giving Up Sex

I’m going completely sober and celibate until July 4.

The alcohol is nothing. My brother and I are doing a “Sober Marathon.” Instead of running 26.2 miles, we are spending the first 26.2 weeks of the year sober.

Not a drop of alcohol.

Which means we’ll share our first drink together on July 4. It was actually his idea so I give him credit for deciding to do this (especially while being a Junior in college).

I’ve gone through long stretches without drinking before. For 20 months straight from the ages of 23 to 25. And two months straight last December and January (when I also gave up sex and warm showers and wrote the blog post that helped me find my voice).

So not drinking for six months is about as hard as not drinking for a week. This was an easy decision. I like having my body as clean as possible and I’ve learned to enjoy socializing without needing to be under the influence.

I’m actually looking forward to being booze free for a while. I’m just changing my identity to one of a non-drinker for the next six months.

The tougher decision though is giving up sex. But at this point, it’s what feels best for me in this chapter in my life.

I remember 18 months ago at World Domination Summit having a conversation with one of my closest guy friends. It went something like this.

Him: “Dude, you know I love you, but I don’t agree with the way you’re living your life. Traveling around the country, having sex with random girls in every city. You’re better than that.”

Me: “Yeah, I know. But right now I’m enjoying the freedom of this nomadic lifestyle. So my options are to either have incredible short-term relationships with women for a couple of days or a couple of weeks, or be totally celibate. And I don’t want to be totally celibate.”

Him: “Hmm, I guess so. I still think you’re better than that.”

I’ve been on the road for 22 months straight now, traveling to where the opportunities take me. So I’ve been traveling, coaching, speaking, throwing events, and connecting with amazing women, sometimes for a week, sometimes for a month.

Recently though, it’s been getting harder and harder with each departure.

I was talking to Sam a month ago and he asked me what the area of least satisfaction was in my life. I thought for a second and said, “Too many amazing women in my life. It’s stressing me out.”

I know, that sounds like the most ridiculous statement ever uttered. But as you upgrade your life, you upgrade your problems. And that was my truth in that moment.

I just spent the past two months in New York City, staying with one of my best friends at his apartment and working most of the time. And for the first time in over a year and a half I had a lot of time to think. And I started integrating the whirlwind of experiences that I’ve had over the past two years.

And I also started integrating all of the losses. Including the women who I left behind after totally opening up my heart to them. Loss after loss after loss.

Amazing sex with a woman that you love is one of the greatest joys in life. And that’s what’s available to every man in the world if he removes the obstacles and does a little work. It’s available to you right now as you read this.

But despite what I said 18 months ago to my friend at WDS, now I choose Option #2. Conscious celibacy.

Here’s six reasons why I’m giving up sex (for now).


1. Losing Love Hurts Like Hell

I’m an expert at saying goodbye. I do it hundreds of times a year. I’ve really gotten a grasp of that whole impermanence thing.

But as I worked on my Annual Review, I realized that I suffered a number of devastating breakups this year. But I was too busy to process the loss.

When I was 22 I ended a relationship with the girl who I thought I was going to marry. I swore off women, completely shut down, and didn’t date for eight months after that.

In March of last year, I mourned for a week straight after my girlfriend unexpectedly broke up with me.

But over the past year I’ve ended relationships left and right without giving myself time to grieve.

Which might sound odd to you given the fact that some of them were a couple weeks long or a couple months long, but when you put yourself out there the way I do, the loss is significant.

And I lost a lot of love this year.


2. I Can’t Go Backwards In My Ability To Love

I can’t go back to not showing up completely, even on the first minute of the first date.

I can’t go back to being anything but my authentic self in every moment together.

I can’t go back to lying or manipulating my way into making a woman like me or sleep with me.

I can’t go back to showing up with my heart closed off, ignoring my feelings and getting angry or frustrated when she shows hers.

I can’t go back to not doing everything in my power to make her feel loved, safe, appreciated, and beautiful.

I can’t go back to having casual sex without a deeper emotional or spiritual connection first. And if I do, it doesn’t feel good afterwards.

It’s like learning how to do anything. Once you reach a certain level of proficiency, there’s no turning back. You can’t go back to not knowing how to tie your shoes or not knowing how to drive a car. And that’s the same with learning how to love.

So when I’m dating someone I love them with all of my heart, like I had a month to live. You might call it reckless, I call it the only way to live.


3. My Sex Is Special

My sex is special. Your sex is special. All sex is special.

This year I pushed my edges considerably, for the sake of deepening my sexual practice for myself and my work.

But the fact remains that any time two human beings choose to engage in sexual activity, it’s a significant event. Energies are exchanged, feelings are felt, and memories are made.

And that’s not something I’m going to share anymore unless I really, really feel inspired to. And that’s not something you should share unless you feel really, really inspired to.

It’s not about morality. It’s not about right and wrong. It’s about what makes you feel good when you roll off of each other.

Did your sex reenergize you, rejuvenate you, and fill your heart with love?

If not, then maybe that’s not the person you want to be sharing yourself with. Or maybe there are some courageous conversations that you need to have to clear whatever obstacles are keeping you from fully opening up with each other.

No matter what, just know that your sex is special.


4. I Have Major Commitments To Keep

In a little over a week, Kyle, Nicky and I will be welcoming six entrepreneurs to our mansion in Phoenix for EXECUTE.

In around two months, I’ll be giving a “TED talk” at the Martha Beck Coaches’ Summit called “A Life Without Secrets: The Truth Will Set You Free.”

In three and a half months, I’ll be welcoming 300 men to San Diego for a weekend of accelerated growth at The Conference For Men.

And I’ve never done any of these things before.

More than ever in my life I need to be at my absolute best physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. I’m going to expend massive amounts of energy towards completing these projects.

Professional athletes sometimes refrain from sex before major competitions. And I too am a professional, choosing to compete at the highest levels possible.

And so are you. If you choose to.


5. I Want To Get To Know Myself Better

I have a good relationship with myself. But I want a great relationship with myself.

In lieu of these two activities, I’ll be journaling more, meditating daily, and spending more time outdoors. I’ll be sleeping more, napping more, and resting more. I’ll be walking more, moving my body more, and bringing my attention inwards.

When people ask me questions like “How do I discover my purpose?” or “How do I figure out who I am?” I give them a simple two-word response:

Eliminate Distractions.

Stop playing on Facebook, stop watching television, stop masturbating, stop drinking, stop using drugs, stop reading, stop traveling, stop hanging out with friends. Stop doing anything that takes you away from yourself and the present moment.

Just be.

And although I value the hundreds of hours I’ve spent with some of the smartest people in the world over the past two years, right now I just want to spend some more time with me, myself, and I.


6. I Feel Complete

If I died today I would be completely satisfied with the life story that I wrote. I legitimately don’t need another life experience to feel like I gave this life my all.

Not another adventure in a foreign country, not another accomplishment, and not another epic love story.

I say sometimes to my clients and friends, “Eat filet mignon every night until it tastes like fast food.”

Which means if you want to travel, just buy a plane ticket. If you want to have a bunch of sex, then go fuck your brains out. If you want to jump out of a plane, then go skydiving.

I don’t want to die with any regrets. But right now I don’t have any. Right now I feel full, I feel rich, I feel complete.

At any point I can close my eyes and go back into the filmstrip of my life and feel completely satiated. Every desire I have has been filled time and time again. Love, connection, adventure, contribution, growth, fun, freedom.

Which means it’s time to give back. It’s time to execute like crazy. For the sake of all beings. For the sake of doing what’s right. For the sake of love.

Whoa, did I just grow up a little?


PS – I’m not a role model. I’m just an explorer, navigating this game called life. It’s your life, act accordingly.

[Photo Credit]

  • Gabby Keen-Orcutt

    Curious to see where this next adventure leads you…and how much celebrating (or reflecting?) will happy on July 4th. Thank you for encouraging the rest of us to continue to stretch and spread our wings…then jump :)

  • Jack Peterson

    Mike. THIS IS AWESOME. I love you

  • Nathan Hafichuk

    Interesting how in #1 you talk about all the love that you’ve lost, what about all the love you have gained with those relationships?

    I have experienced much of the same and felt the same as well, but everything changed for me when I met a woman that I have been able to build an incredible connection with. The amount that she inspires me to become a better man is the most incredible gift I have ever received. You have to do whats best for you at all times, I’m letting you know how mind blowing the connection with an amazing woman can be.

    Love your writing Mike. I’m becoming a life coach myself and your work is an inspiration.

    • Mike Hrostoski

      True, I’ve gained a great deal. Women have been my greatest teachers. Good reframe.

  • Liz Brazier

    Thanks for the honesty. I was really inspired by No 4.. You have a huge 6 months ahead and being at your peak is definitely going to help you bust through in an even bigger way. Cheers to you

  • Dan Ralphs

    Napoleon Hill has a chapter in his book Think and Grow Rich, called “Sex Transmutation”. You ought to read it as you enter this journey, celibacy can be tied to either great productivity or insanity, he helps show the difference.

    • Kevin Diamond

      Here’s a snippet 😉 (I wrote a post about this)

      “Scientific research has disclosed these significant facts:

      1. The men of greatest achievement are men with highly developed sex natures; men who have learned the art of sex transmutation.

      2. The men who have accumulated great fortunes and achieved outstanding recognition in literature, art, industry, architecture, and the professions, were motivated by the influence of a woman.

      The research from which these astounding discoveries were made, went back through the pages of biography and history for more than two thousand years. Wherever there was evidence available in connection with the lives of men and women of great achievement, it indicated most convincingly that they possessed highly developed sex natures.”

  • Kevin Diamond

    big boy pants—- on. From july to now Mike I can’t really describe your growth. I’m sure you’ve felt it. I know your friends feel it/see it, but from an outside perspective its really clear to see where you’ve come, what you’ve done and where your going. (All awesome places **spaces). (its been massive)

    You don’t need a pat on the back and you dont need outward validation or support for your choices, but I want you to kno the outward appreciation of watching your journey.

    I’ve always loved you and your stuff, (work, life and biz) and there was a time you said something that really stuck out to me and had me excited to see what’s to come. It’s when you were chatting on the Raw Truth ep with Dane and Andy talking about how amazing your life was and how you were feeling uneasy about getting uncomfortable again but how you felt compelled to reach out for more to make more impact. And how necessary it was for your own growth and the worlds.

    It got me excited to see what was to come.

    And then all this happened.

    And many more stufff 😉

    Anywho–lots in store for the world. Happy to see it happened (and happening) And like Booda said, “We won’t be on the sideline cheering you on” 😉 So save me a kilt my brotha— full speed ahead 😉

    Happy New Year!

    • Mike Hrostoski

      I was just thinking of you today as I was driving with Sam in San Diego. Soooo glad we met in NYC.

  • mezzmurrize

    Great post! And Best of luck Mike, this a great opportunity to channel your energy to awaken the non-mechanical parts of the brain for increased self-awareness. Namaste.

  • Christopher Sunyata

    Your reasons #2 & #3 resonate with me. I can now understand why you are doing this. During this time, I suggest you check out Barry Long’s book “To Man in Truth”. If you like that then read his book “Making Love”.

  • Pingback: When You Think You’re Going To Die | Mike Hrostoski()

  • Ari

    There’s nothing special about your journey. You’re a hedonist. Period. Boring, typical and and average. Your “journeys” are empty as you trying to fill your needs….whatever they may be. Sex is not the issue. You are your own issue.

  • RebeccaTracey

    So now that your new relationship is public, I am DYING to know how the now sex thing is going? July 4th is OH SO SOON!!! 😉

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